Performing Arts

Music is a mandatory subject in Stage 4 in which students study musical concepts through performing, composing and listening.

The elective course continues to build on musical experiences and learning further developing the knowledge, skills and understanding of a range of musical concepts and student's own compositions. It is a pathway to studying Music 1 and 2 in Stage 6.

The aim of Music 1 Stage 6 is to provide students with the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills and experiences and to emerge as musically sensitive and capable individuals with the capacity and desire for music to play a significant and continually developing role in their lives.

Stage 4 

Students in Year 7 will partake in stage 4 Music. Here they will write a rap music composition, read music, play the guitar and keyboard and write music for film using Garageband and iMovie. Topics studied are Aboriginal music, Environmental music, Pop, Rock and Blues music, music of the Orchestra and Film music. Students will listen to a range of music and learn how to discuss excerpts using the Concepts of Music. They will write music notation and learn about different instruments and styles.

Stage 5 

Students in Stage 5 Music (Year 9 and 10) partake in Music as an elective. In Stage 5 Music, students get the opportunity to perform on their chosen instruments in a variety of different performance opportunities.  Students will learn about songwriting and Australian Music,  Popular Music and Music of a Culture. Through the topic of Music Technology students have the opportunity to learn how to use the equipment in the recording studio as well as further consolidate their learning of the Concepts of Music through writing and listening experiences.

Stage 6 

In Stage 6 students focus and extend their capabilities on their chosen instrument. In Year 11 students study Film Music, Jazz and Music Technology - furthering their understanding of the recording process. In Year 12 students study broader topics such as ‘An Instrument and its Repertoire’, ‘Music for Small Ensembles' and ‘Music of the 20th and 21st Century’. Stage 6 Music 1 requires students to compose a composition no longer than 4 minutes in length, perform to a high standard, listen to multiple musical excerpts from all genres and analyse them in writing and have a conversation about a composer, band, instrument or piece of music with an examiner for 10 minutes (viva voce). Over the course of stage 6 students have many opportunities to experience these areas of study and then for their final year 12 assessment they can choose which electives they would like to do. For example a student could choose all performances or have a variety or performance, composition and viva voce  for their HSC examination.

Post School Opportunities

The study of Music provides students with knowledge, understanding and skills that form a valuable foundation for a range of courses at university and other tertiary institutions.

In addition, the study of Music assists students to prepare for employment and full and active participation as citizens. In particular, there are opportunities for students to gain recognition in vocational education and training.

There are also many music related careers that this course can direct students to including (but not limited to) sound engineering, performer, composer, film music composer, DJ, entertainer and musical instrument repairer.

Studies have found that the study of Music can develop mathematical skills, coordination, memory retention, discipline, dexterity, motor skills and organisation (among other things) and these skills are useful in careers such as law enforcement, medical or psychology.



Duration refers to the lengths of sounds and silences in music and includes the aspects of beat, rhythm, metre, and tempo, pulse rates and absence of pulse.

dynamics and expressive techniques

Dynamics refers to the volume of sound. Important aspects include the relative loudness and softness of sounds, changes in loudness (contrast) and the emphasis on individual sounds (accent).


Pitch refers to the relative highness or lowness of sounds. Important aspects include high, low, higher and lower pitches, direction of pitch movement, melody, harmony, definite and indefinite pitch.


Structure refers to the design or form in music.


Texture refers to the layers of sound that make a composition and the function of each of those layers.

tone colour

Tone colour refers to that aspect of sound that allows the listener to identify the sound source or combinations of sound sources.



Drama is an artform with a discrete body of knowledge including conventions, history, skills and methods of working. It is an integral aspect of our society and is taught in school curricula worldwide. Drama fosters an understanding of continuity and change, and of the connections between different times and cultures. It provides opportunities to explore social, cultural, ethical and spiritual beliefs, including the diverse values of Australian culture.

Drama encourages a cooperative approach to exploring the world through enactment. The collaborative nature of this artform engages students in a creative process of sharing, developing and expressing emotions and ideas. It is a form of action in which students take on a role as a means of exploring both familiar and unfamiliar aspects of their world. They portray aspects of human experience while exploring the ways people react and respond to different situations, issues and ideas.

In Drama, students can communicate in complex and powerful ways how they perceive the world. They can investigate, shape and symbolically represent ideas, interests, concerns, feelings, attitudes, beliefs and their consequences. Drama can reflect the external world and the inner world of thoughts and feelings through fictional contexts. Learning experiences in Drama are provided which involve the intellect, emotions, imagination and body, and engage the whole person. Self-confidence, motivation and self-esteem are developed through the devising, workshopping, rehearsing and performing of individual and collaborative works.

This syllabus draws on the contemporary drama and theatre practices of making, performing and appreciating drama. These practices are active, experiential, critical and reflective.

While students develop knowledge, understanding and skills that pertain to each of these practices, it is vital to integrate experiences in these areas in order to effectively realise the outcomes. In their appreciation of drama and theatre, students are aware of the collaborative contribution of actors, directors, playwrights, designers and technicians to productions. Manipulation of a wide range of technologies including traditional, electronic and digital applications helps students achieve particular dramatic intentions.

Drama is a dynamic learning experience that caters for a diverse range of students and prepares them for effective and responsible participation in society, taking account of moral, ethical and spiritual considerations. The study of drama engages and challenges students to maximise their individual abilities through imaginative, dramatic experiences created in cooperation with others.

Stage 5

In the Drama Years 7–10 Syllabus, both the processes and performances of drama are valued equally. Participants in drama processes create meaning by interacting actively, creatively and imaginatively through improvised, spontaneous and structured responses. Participants in drama performance create meaning through their relationship with the audience and experience of this engagement is essential in dramatic presentations.

At our College Drama is currently only available as an elective in Stage 5. If students elect it in Year 9 and Year 10 they will study topics such as - Improvisation, Comedy, Commedia Dell’arte, Street Theatre, Melodrama, Australian theatre, Small Screen Television Physical Theatre and Playbuilding.

Stage 6

This syllabus provides opportunities for students to develop a range of skills and the opportunity to concentrate on areas of personal interest. It is designed for students who have completed the Drama Years 7–10 Elective course and for those who are studying Drama for the first time.

The skills and knowledge acquired through the study of this syllabus may be further developed and employed in a variety of professions including, but not confined to, theatre, media, communications and community cultural development. The syllabus provides continuity with many tertiary and industry courses.

The study of Drama will develop the talents and capacities of all students – physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, creative and expressive – as well as developing self-confidence and self-esteem.

Students undertaking Stage 6 Drama at Mount Carmel will learn about practitioners such as Laban and Stanislavsky and study topics such as Absurdism, Theatrical Traditions and Performance Styles and Elements of Design. For the HSC Drama students complete a compulsory group performance and for their Individual Project can choose between the following:

Critical Analysis - Director’s Folio, Portfolio of Theatre Criticism or Applied Research Project

Design - Costume, Lighting, Promotion and Program or Set

Performance - Monologue


Video Drama

This make it a very versatile course.

Post School Opportunities

The study of Drama Stage 6 provides students with knowledge, understanding and skills that form a valuable foundation for a range of courses at university and other tertiary institutions.

In addition, the study of Drama Stage 6 assists students to prepare for employment and full and active participation as citizens. In particular, there are opportunities for students to gain recognition in vocational education and training. Teachers and students should be aware of these opportunities.

Recognition of Student Achievement in Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Wherever appropriate, the skills and knowledge acquired by students in their study of HSC courses should be recognised by industry and training organisations. Recognition of student achievement means that students who have satisfactorily completed HSC courses will not be required to repeat their learning in courses in TAFE NSW or other Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

Registered Training Organisations, such as TAFE NSW, provide industry training and issue qualifications within the Australian Qualifications Framework.

The degree of recognition available to students in each subject is based on the similarity of outcomes between HSC courses and industry training packages endorsed within the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Training packages are documents that link an industry’s competency standards to AQF qualifications. More information about industry training packages can be found on the National Training Information Service (NTIS) website (

Recognition by TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW conducts courses in a wide range of industry areas, as outlined each year in the TAFE NSW Handbook. Under current arrangements, the recognition available to students of Drama in relevant courses conducted by TAFE is described in the HSC/TAFE Credit Transfer Guide. This guide is produced by the Board of Studies and TAFE NSW and is distributed annually to all schools and colleges. Teachers should refer to this guide and be aware of the recognition available to their students through the study of Drama Stage 6. This information can be found on the TAFE NSW website (

Recognition by other Registered Training Organisations

Students may also negotiate recognition into a training package qualification with another Registered Training Organisation. Each student will need to provide the RTO with evidence of satisfactory achievement in Drama Stage 6, so that the degree of recognition available can be determined.

Possible careers in this field include: actor, set designer, lighting design, foley artist, grip, director, playwright, screen writer, producer, teacher, entertainer, comedian, editor, continuity director etc.